Hope in Adversity: A First-Hand Account of Morocco’s Earthquake

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Rescuers looking for bodies under the rubble in the Marrakech region (Image credit: AA)

This article was written by Imane Moumen, our Senior Writer of European Politics from Morocco. She wrote this article right after Morocco’s earthquake struck her country in hopes of raising awareness and donations to aid her community.

The night of the 8th of September, 2023 marks a tragic date in the history of Morocco, as habitants experienced an earthquake of 6.8 on the Richter scale in the province of Al Haouz 77 kilometers southwest of Marrakech. This was followed by no less than 15 earthquakes of magnitude 3 on the Ritcher scale, and multiple small aftershocks. The main earthquake struck around 11:11 PM Friday night, shaking Marrakech and the southwest of the city, from up the Atlas Mountains to major Moroccan cities like Marrakech, Agadir, Taroudant, Meknes, and the majority of provinces and rural areas of Morocco.

The number of deaths continues to climb as the Moroccan Minister of the Interior announced on September 9, 2023, that the death toll stood at 2016, alongside 2059 injured and 1,404 suffering from “complicated conditions.” As access to emergency services and medical help stall in rural Morocco, these figures will only rise.

The damage done by the earthquake to an Moroccan village (Image credit: Sky News)

Moroccan citizens from affected communities are completely devastated, writing to Al Arabiya, a prominent media corporation in Morocco to mourn the loss of their loved ones. One such mourner from Amzmit village in Al Haoz affirmed the tragic loss of his uncle and three cousins and asked for support as the authorities continued searching for his two children aged between 4 to 5 years old. Another man cried and prayed to Allah, as he searched in the rubble for the bodies of his children. 

The earthquake also destroyed part of the ramparts surrounding the old city of Marrakech. This has led to the destruction of many historical monuments, like a mosque from the 12th century.

In response, Morocco’s royal palace has declared that the country will enter three days of mourning after an emergency meeting was held by King Mohammed VI. The statement read from the palace, as published by MAP news agency reads,

“Three days of national mourning have been decided, with flags to fly at half-mast on all public buildings.” 

Aftershocks are also being felt across the country, from Marrakesh to Casablanca, as the search continues for survivors who are trapped under the rubble. During this crisis, several countries have affirmed their support for Morocco, including Tunisia, which sent Civil Protection teams to head to Morocco to support relief operations, and the Emirate of Qatar, which ordered the dispatch of relief teams to Morocco as well.

If you want to support Morocco during this challenging time, here are some trustworthy NGOs you can donate to:

GoFundMe: Support for victims of the earthquake in Morocco:


INSAF (National Institution of Solidarity with Women in Distress):


Food Bank:


SOS Children’s Villages Morocco:


NGO Al Mobadara: 


Aramex Morocco

+212 625 785 785 / +212 625 000 162 


AEM Marrakech: 

+212 657 93 53 52 / +212 708 36 86 43 


Red Croissant Marrakech: (equivalent of the red cross)

002125 24 45 80 25 / 002126 61 11 49 87 


High Mountains Children NGO: 

06 61 45 16 76 


Written by Imane Moumen

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